Monday, 26 October 2015

Today is a Good Day to be a Butterfly!!!

Image by C.Fourie from "A year of Butterflies" Collection

Fantastic!  The start of another new week!  New opportunities and possibilities await.  Yet, I woke up exhausted this morning.  We had a very busy week and weekend. Running around, organizing, and meeting everyone's needs has left me feeling drained.  So, taking a good look at my state of mind this morning, I decided that today will be a good day to be a butterfly!
How blessed they are!  Those little flighty creatures, 'hanging' around all day, just being butterflies!
Nothing is expected of them.  Just by being what they are, they fill the world with beauty, their presence gives us such delight.  They do not feel compelled to live up to anybody's expectations of them.  They do not pressure themselves to perform.  They do not worry about tomorrow or mope about the past, they revel in the beauty of the moment and enjoy the wind beneath their wings.  They delight in all the scents of the garden and their wings sparkle in the sunlight.  They embrace the joy of simply being alive.

How different we are from butterflies.  From morning till night time we rush around, believing the more busy we are, the more successful we are.  We think that by filling every hour of the day with activities, we have something to be proud of, and we call ourselves "Achievers".  We even look down at people who have mastered the art of being quiet as if they are of an inferior species.  If somebody were to tell how they managed to fit thirty minutes, or heaven forbid, an hour of stillness/ reflection /meditation or creativity into their day, the retort would often be "Oh, I am far too busy for THAT!"  We often equate being busy as being worthy.   We fall into the trap of thinking that being busy means that I am important, we trade time for the mistaken belief that it adds value to our worth.  In the process, we are pushed to our limits, and not only do our strength and energy levels get depleted, our relationships and families end up suffering too.  We just simply have no time for anything else, we are caught up in a vicious cycle of being busy.  We also have no time for ourselves.
In fact, most people, and especially women, believe that to allocate any meaningful amount of time to themselves, is the height of selfishness.  It is expected of us to put ourselves last on the "to do" list.  The result is that we start running on empty!  We end up having nothing more to give.  Our emotional, spiritual and physical banks are bankrupt.  Disaster is looming.
WE have to take charge of our lives and our time, and rethink about how we use the time we have.  We have to replenish our bank accounts.  There is no overdraft facility.  We have to prioritize ourselves.  No, this is not a selfish act, it is a very essential need.  I can only give to others if I have something to give.  We have to allocate some time to ourselves in order to re-fill and re-energize ourselves.  We have to celebrate who we are and what we need to live more fulfilled lives.  We have to find our butterfly wings and put them on.
So, how should we do it?  I could devote a whole post to it, but in short:

1. Schedule it.
 Just like we schedule a time to go see the bank manager, or the school principal or the PTA meeting, we have to write our appointments with ourselves into our diaries.  If we do not do this, we will simply put it off until another more convenient time (which of course never materializes!)
You owe yourself at least 10 minutes a day, 1 hour a week and a whole day every month.
2. PLAN it.
Great!  You have diarised your me-time.  You have looked forward to it for the whole week, but now, faced with all this free time, you are totally at a loss of what to do. If you do not plan what it is that you want to do with your free time, you will end up wasting it, and feeling frustrated in the process.  Therefor it is important to have an idea what you want to do with your ten minutes or hour or day.  It is not necessary for elaborate plans or a minute by minute schedule.  A basic outline should suffice.
3. Disconnect.
Yes, you heard me.  We are addicted to our electronic devices.  The average person checks his phone roughly about 150 times a day!!!  Most people will interrupt whatever they are doing to take a phone call.  As long as we stay connected we are not focused on being in the moment, and our me-time becomes somebody else's time, again.
4. Say NO!
Do not be tempted by people or events to re-schedule.  Say no to distractions.  Say no to going on a guilt-trip.
5. Spend the time doing what makes YOU smile.
Maybe it is reading that soppy romance or watching "Friends" for the umpteenth time.  Maybe it is ordering a sushi platter for ten and gobbling it all up by yourself while lounging around in your PJ's.  Maybe it is wandering through all the little shops in China Town.  Whatever it is, do it.  Do not worry about being judged by others.  It is your time.  Cherish it.

Remember, no one else is going to come up to you and say, "Here, is an hour, take it and go have fun."  The world is always ready and willing to demand our time.  You are the only one who can take charge of your life and give yourself time.  Take time and be a butterfly.  Delight in the beauty of the moment, breathe in deeply and smile as you take flight.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a pair of wings...

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